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* Plot Information for Nharkava

Rebellion has swept the Territory in the south as Glacia dominates the north. Landen and Blood join forces to spread a message of equality with any method possible while Glacia works to infuse the land with power and the people with their Dark Beliefs. The Rebellion, led by a Council of Eight, is not always in agreement but none can resist the power, and the danger, the movement has generated.
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Author Topic: Familiarity Breeds Contempt  (Read 159 times)

Description: NSFW/TW: All of the above // tag: Kiara

Offline Devesh Acharya

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Familiarity Breeds Contempt
« on: Feb 04, 19, 01:37:25 AM »
Devesh watched as Lady Silje Frisk emerged from the cleansing waters of one of the cavern's many falls. The water had bit sharply into his own skin, but the native Glacian didn't seem to notice the chill of the Winter runoff. Naked, she stepped from the pool and allowed Devesh to wrap a heavy, fur-lined cloak around her shoulders. The ice in her eyes seemed brighter, now, and Devesh had to wonder if it was the cold, the occasion, or Mother Night's blessing that had bestowed it there. Nevertheless, she would be warm again, soon enough.

The Queen's hair had been woven back in a series of intricate braids that came together as one. Silje pulled it from beneath the cloak and settled beneath it before glancing over at Devesh. The Priest-Prince at her side wore nothing except for a long ceremonial cloth tucked at his waist. Black, like nearly all of his temple attire, it was weighted with shining black stones and elaborate metallic embroidery that told stories with its symbols.

Offering an arm in case Lady Frisk might slip on the smooth stone beneath their bare feet, Devesh watched as Silje easily took hold and he began to lead them away from the alcove. She didn't seem ill at ease or any different than she normally had, but this time was different. In the two years that the Frisks had taken residence at Padmalaya Estate, Devesh had laid with the Queen four times. This night would mark the fifth. It would continue as such until she conceived a child. The nagging question at this juncture, though, was how they had made it this far.

Prince Acharya could restore a barren womb near as easily as she could restore the land. He knew that Lady Frisk was fertile and without complicating flaws. The proof of his own virility was within at least two pregnant bellies at present and he'd fathered eight children since the first time he'd lain with Lady Frisk. They were both of age, nourished, and hearty. She perhaps even more so than he regarding the last. So how had they come together four times now, planned and performed the rites, and failed nonetheless?

As they moved through the rough-hewn hall, Devesh rested a hand atop Lady Frisk's. "I thought it wise to attempt a new approach," he said in his characteristically low tones that gave nothing away. Silje gave no immediate response, but when Devesh passed a turn that was normally taken, she glanced up at him for an explanation.

"With your leave, Lady Frisk, I've had my apartments prepared. We've conducted what rituals ought to be devoted to the Night within this space. Those remaining may take place down below and tomorrow evening we may return to thank the Darkness."

Silje had an inquisitive look, but she wasn't put off by the news, not yet. She was clearly processing the information.

"The environment, perhaps..." Devesh sighed and motioned weakly with a hand. "Well, I think a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere might do some good. I sometimes forget that this place isn't home for everyone." His smile was genuine, then, but not for the same reasons that she might understand.

Leading the Queen out of the temple, the duo waded into a cloud so thick that it seemed to stick to them as they walked. A pair of escorts took up at their back causing Silje to glance back and study them. Her eyes flicked to Devesh a moment later. "My brother, Prince, he will be put out if the plan changes without his knowledge." She swallowed hard then.

Nodding, Devesh paused, allowing the thick mountain air to swirl lazily about them. The edge of the path was near, followed by a drop that would kill anything without wings. It was a shame that the vista couldn't be appreciated. The views here were astounding. Tonight's sunset had come and gone without any fanfare, however.

"He should already have been informed. I can verify if you like," Devesh offered. He watched Silje with those Princely eyes. They weren't even inquisitive or probing now, they simply knew. The Queen's hesitation was only a stall. The change meant nothing if the two of them both had the same plan. Devesh suspected they did not, however, a fact that he would soon uncover.

Silje reclaimed her bearing then, nodding rather regally and gesturing toward the direction where she believed the narrow path to the landing pad could be found. Devesh lifted his chin and once again, led on.

With the benefit of a Green wind, the trip from one pad to the next took no longer than a few seconds. They had ridden without a carriage, Devesh preferring to channel his Jewels and skim the edge of the unknown. In these moments he felt the closest to their maker. Standing at the center of a hidden landing pad, Devesh loosened his grip and looked down into Silje's eyes. Her facade was beginning to falter. He wondered if that wasn't fear that he saw beneath the ice.

Releasing Silje, Devesh stepped down and then offered a hand to the Queen.

"Where are we?" She asked, ignoring his hand for a moment to glance around the small, dimly lit space.

"A hidden pad," Devesh admitted with a smile and a soft shrug. "Slightly less of a secret now than it was a moment ago." He stretched his hand and arched an insistent brow. "Beneath my apartments. Quite convenient considering how often I am called to the Upper Temple."

"Oh," was all that Silje could muster, her eyes a bit wider now, but she maintained her bearing.

Devesh helped as she stepped from the platform. The ground here was dirt as were the walls and low ceiling. The only structure was the small landing pad itself, the four pillars that supported the room, and a set of stairs that led up.

Once into more familiar surroundings, Silje seemed to relax for a short while, but it didn't last. Devesh washed her feet dutifully and escorted her into his wing of the main house. A bedroom, bathroom, ample courtyard, sitting area, and study were the main features, all private and shielded, completely cut off from the rest of the home. This was common knowledge. This visit would mark the second time that the Glacian Queen had visited his quiet corner.

The rooms were set mostly the same as before except that the space had been transformed via the use of religious symbols and tools. Tiny oil lamps not only decorated the tables but the floor and nooks in the walls as well. The archway that led to the courtyard was set with dozens of the dancing flames, and in the open air beyond, their light reflected on the water giving the place an ethereal glow. The smoke of incense rose and gathered in the bedroom. Bronze thali trays lined the platform at the end of the bed and were heaped with all manner of implements and offerings.

Silje proceeded from one room to the next, curiously and silently absorbing her surroundings. Devesh followed a few steps back, as patiently as needed wondering how long the peace would last.

"I think it best that you remain with me a few days this time, Lady Frisk. It will be easier for me to diagnose the issue of..." he lowered his head and chuckled when he realized the upcoming pun. "...the issue of my issue."

Pausing, Silje half turned and regarded Devesh with a sort of stoic and frosty look that he'd learned translated to 'I'm hiding something from you.' He didn't mind, not this time. He was confident that he was well aware of everything she had hoped that he would never know.

"The contract provides for one full day from evening until evening," Silje returned with assurance in her voice that matched her poise.

Devesh took only a single meandering step toward her, clasping his hands at his back. "The contract provides that I will ensure your overall health, Lady Frisk."

"Then I release you from it," came the quick reply.

"But I don't release you."

Silje's eyes widened as she came about fully. Devesh knew that it wouldn't be so simple with her. This was a Queen who came paired with a Warlord Prince. Their hearts beat with the same ferocity, he was sure. Still, Devesh was unruffled.

"I have upheld my end already, as you know," he suggested casually.

"And my family is eternally grateful," Silje responded, though her brow pinched as though her thoughts were elsewhere. After a moment, she straightened and refocused on him. "Prince Acharya, I'm not comfortable with the changes that you've made without my knowledge."

Devesh nodded, but his loose demeanor continued to alarm Silje. He'd had time to plan for this conversation. Self-assured, he had nothing to worry about, and it seemed he wanted her to know it.

"We may return to the temple, as you like, my Lady. Apart from this, I'm well within my rights, as you know."

"I am Queen." Silje stated cooly, but her voice quavered when she did.

"Indeed," Devesh crooned, stepping close enough to brush his knuckles against the fur lining of her cloak. "Which is the sole reason that the contract was struck in the first place. In blood."

Offline Kiara Makur

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Re: Familiarity Breeds Contempt
« Reply #1 on: Aug 08, 19, 08:36:37 PM »
In nearly all things, Kiara yielded easily to Devesh and his desires. While it had taken him time to convince her to leave her former life and take up residence at Padmalaya, once she had agreed to do so, she had poured her heart and Craft into her work here. Overall, she was deeply happy here. Her work was fulfilling, both that of a midwife and a teacher. Her service to Mother Night granted her a deep peace and made her feel connected to the Darkness. And of course, there was Devesh himself, and the pleasures they sought in each other's arms.

This work, these services, she embraced fully and without question. Her duties as Devi filled her waking hours. She was never without company when she wished it and the friendships that she had formed around the estate had deepened organically with time and gentle tending. Even the Glacian Queen, with eyes a color so pure it could only have come from generations of staring out over the snow covered mountains of her homeland, had slowly granted Kiara a modicum of trust. It was a sacred gift for the golden haired Queen to offer and one that Kiara took seriously.

And yet, even before they had grown closer, she had been willing to defy Devesh for Silje, and she intended to do so again.

Kiara had moments when she held her ground with the Master of the House, especially where her patients health and safety were concerned. The body wasn't designed to carry pregnancy after pregnancy in close succession. She could help Devesh with his work and protect those who carried his progeny and it was in her best interest to do exactly that. As long as they were healthy and consenting, she was thrilled to help from conception to birth and beyond.

This was not the case with Silje. She was healthy, yes. But consent obtained with the threat of death hanging over her head was not consent freely given. A choice to sign a contract or to be shut out of Padmalaya, defenseless against her pursuers, was not a choice at all. And until the Queen told her otherwise, openly expressed that she wanted to carry Devesh's child, Kiara would do whatever was in her power to ensure that burden did not fall on Silje's shoulders.

She should not have to learn of her pregnancy and then have to choose whether to carry it to term. Besides, knowing Devesh, Kiara would not be surprised if the contract carried some harsh penalty if Silje were to do so. The termination of life, of the life of a child of the Blood, was a particular blasphemy to the Priest Prince, and Kiara knew well his passion over such matters.

The Temple set high on the mountain pulled a deep reverence from the Healer whenever she came here. She was a common enough sight no one questioned her presence, Devesh himself included. She went about her own personal rites and was left to her meditations without oversight or interference. And she would have continued to do so if she did not feel the shift when Devesh and Silje were suddenly just not there.

Something was wrong. Without moving too quickly or raising alarm, she slowly went about finishing her devotions before gathering her things. She thanked the attendants of the Temple and tried to express no annoyance when one stopped her to talk for a few moments. Finally, she made her way to the Landing Web. She needed to decide where to land and what she would say when she got there. Devesh knew nothing of her true purpose and it was essential he remained ignorant of that fact. If she were merely checking on Silje, she would go to Devesh directly to inquire.

The decision made, she let the Winds carry her to the private Landing Web beneath his rooms and made no attempt to hide her presence when she arrived. After all, she was his Devi, and nowhere on the estate was forbidden to her. "Devesh?" she called out, as she climbed the stairs to his apartments. When she entered the room, she saw them standing together, Devesh's knuckles reaching out to brush over the soft fur of the Queen's cloak.

"My Prince," she said, smiling at him with all the warmth and affection he had come to know from her. "Is everything alright? I was meditating at the Upper Temple when I felt your absence and worried Lady Frisk might not be well. Can I be of any assistance to either of you?"

For the first time since entering the room, she allowed her gaze to stray from Devesh and glanced to Silje as well. "Are you quite well, Silje?" she asked, the words a lifeline offered to the Queen who held an expression somewhere caught between relief and terror. It was only for a moment, her expression cooling quickly as soon as Devesh's gaze followed Kiara's and returned to the Queen.